Administering health care in space demands innovative biomedical solutions. The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) meets this need through the Space Medical and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP), a grant opportunity that supports small companies developing products to keep astronauts healthy in space. The technologies must also make a major impact for patients on Earth.

Since 2011, NSBRI has fast-tracked several new diagnostic devices that will markedly improve doctors’ ability to non-invasively assess brain and ocular health. Supported therapeutics have included ultrasound for back pain relief, a medical food that can help patients overcome the gastrointestinal side effects of radiation exposure, and a new bioactive gel for healing wounds. For further information about previous SMARTCAP awardees and a summary of their technologies please visit SMARTCAP Grant Recipients.

To receive a SMARTCAP grant, recipients must raise a 100 percent match from a non-federal source which leverages the public dollars spent on the technology and fosters public-private partnerships. As a result of receiving SMARTCAP grants, companies have moved their technologies further down the path to commercialization and clinical adoption.

“SMARTCAP offers non-dilutive grants that help small companies open new market opportunities, and simultaneously address the significant challenges faced by humans living and working in space,” said Dr. Dorit Donoviel, NSBRI’s Deputy Chief Scientist and Industry Forum Lead. “The proposed work should advance the commercialization of the product. Examples of desirable project goals are new applications for existing products, reformulation or refinement of prototypes, or usability testing. The outcomes must address a high priority need in space and improve life on Earth.”

High-priority areas of interest to the U.S. human space program can be found at and at

Building on its previous success, NSBRI is now soliciting applications from small, U.S.-based companies for its eighth SMARTCAP cycle.

If you believe that your product can meaningfully impact a space-relevant biomedical issue, please consider applying for a SMARTCAP grant. To be considered during the upcoming grant cycle (May-October, 2015), the two-page initial application must be received no later than 5 p.m. Central Time, on June 26, 2015. Other grant cycle deadlines, submission guidelines, and additional information regarding SMARTCAP can be found

NSBRI, a 501(c)(3) organization partnered with NASA, is studying the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight and developing the technologies and countermeasures needed for human space exploration missions. The Institute’s science, technology and education projects take place at approximately 60 institutions across the United States. The NSBRI Industry Forum fosters the commercialization of NSBRI-supported products and research and engages the private sector in developing space compatible health care solutions. More information regarding NSBRI may be found at